The writer of the book of Hebrews states,
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who BY REASON OF USE have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. [Emphasis mine].
Use of what? The STRONG MEAT of the Word of God. If we can learn how to properly put into practice the truth of God's Word, more and more permanent change will be the result in our lives. Said another way, as our minds are renewed to think the thoughts of the Father, our actions will correspond to His will and we will not behave like carnal people.
For example, last month we discussed the fact that the promise of Luke 6:38 does not apply to giving legalistically into a church offering, but rather to those who are willing to extend mercy to people who treat them wrong. To understand what Jesus was saying in Luke 6:38, you have to leave the verse in the entire context of Luke 6:27-49. Just to give the flavor of what Jesus was saying, here are the introductory verses leading up to the promise of Luke 6:38;
Luke 6:27-30 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
There are very few Christians who USE that portion of the Word of God! Statistics show that Christians are just as likely to enter into lawsuits as unbelievers. Even worse, not only are most Christians quick to sue an unbeliever who treats them unjustly, they are just as quick to sue their Christian brother as well ... usually over money! Paul soundly condemned this practice when he wrote to the Corinthians;
1 Cor 6:6-7 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
These are good questions! Why don't Christians take the wrong? Why don't they suffer themselves to be defrauded? Answer: THEY DON'T BELIEVE THE PROMISE JESUS DECLARED IN LUKE 6:38!
Luke 6:36-38 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Put into today's language, Jesus is saying, "If you will extend mercy to others in precisely the same way that the Father has shown mercy to you in Christ, He promises that even though those people may treat you unjustly and take away your goods, the Father Himself will see to it that other men will restore everything back to you ... good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. You will never be permanently diminished by extending mercy to those who mistreat you."
I have been soundly rebuked by otherwise mature Christians for teaching this principle. They have said things like, "Anybody who operates that way will wind up being destroyed." Why do they say that? Again, because they don't believe what Jesus said. They have more faith in the court systems of the land than they do in the Word of God. Worse than that, they "know" the legal system better than they "know" their heavenly Father. They are primarily concerned with the protection of their goods. The Father is primarily concerned with the eternal soul of the one who is treating them unjustly.
As Christians, our goal in life is to bring as many unbelievers to Christ as possible. If the unbeliever sees Christians functioning in the same manner as the world, why would they listen to our witness of Jesus Christ? If we retaliate with "evil for evil," how are we different from the world? That's why Jesus says (in context, later in this same passage),
Luke 6:39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
How can we lead an unbeliever to Christ if we are just as blind as they are? If they see no difference between us and the world, why would they follow us as we try to lead them to Christ? It is for this very reason that Jesus said (again, in context, later in this same passage),
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Another good question! Why don't we? Answer: We don't believe what Jesus said! Our senses have not yet been exercised to discern good from evil. Most Christians believe that "good" is to protect their possessions at all costs ... even if they have to destroy an unbeliever in court to do so. They act as though their earthly possessions are the "treasures." But the true "treasures" of heaven are the eternal souls of men. We are doing "good" when our actions result in them becoming willing to listen to our testimony of Christ.
Thank you for your gift to GCM. Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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